My experience with right colectomy (first 7 days)

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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:40 pm

My experience with right colectomy (first 7 days)

Postby sb_pdx » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:54 pm

Lurked on this forum while anxiously waiting for my procedure and I very much appreciate the information posted here. Colon talk has been a great source of information for me. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge. Sharing my experience and hopefully it helps other users going through this process.

51 year old male (Pacific NW US). My timeline of event
02/20/2018 First colonoscopy - 3 sub-mucosal lesions (10-20 mm) in ascending colon, near hepatic flexure. No biopsy sample taken and no idea if benign/malignant. CT/Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) recommended
04/13/2018 CT Scan shows no metastasis to neighboring organs
06/15/2018 EUS of ascending colon shows lesions originate in layer 4, Gastroenterologist suspects Gastro intestinal stromal tumor (GIST). No biopsy samples possible because of location.
07/24/2018 One final attempt at biopsy, biopsy sample does not show sub-mucosal layer of interest. Location tattooed for surgical reference. Decision to proceed to right colectomy
09/26/2018 – Right colectomy

Not sure if it made any difference, but I used the doctor’s office recommended surgery prep drink (Impact). Lots of reviews complained about fishy taste, but I did not think it was too bad and not too different from the protein shakes I was drinking. Miralax/Gatorade prep was tolerable (more on prep formulations below). Per doctor’s office recommendation, did not shave my abdomen. I read in one of the threads about the Foley catheter and recommendation to shave inner thigh, but did not follow that sage advice.

Day 0- Checked into the hospital at 5:30 am. Follow instructions to keep surgical wipes away from sensitive areas. (does sting if you do get close). Woke up a few hours afterwards, with IV, patient controlled analgesic Dilaudid (PCA), 2 small incisions (Dermabond) and one large incision with stitches (through belly button) and a a catheter. Spent rest of the day drifting in and out of sleep. Not a lot of pain, and I think I only used PCA 4 times (?) while it was in place – (great job by the surgical team). Nausea on sitting/standing was pretty bad. With the help of the nurse attempted to walk that night and only made it about 20 steps before I had to sit down. No appetite – just apple and cranberry juice all day.

Day 1 – pain minimal, still hooked up to IV and catheter. Nausea all but gone by mid-afternoon. Goal of 4 walks for the day, did not start on first walk till about 2 pm and did not finish the last one till 10 pm. Secondary goals – pass gas and have a bowel movement. Do all 3 and I can leave the hospital :) . Lots of noise in my tummy during the day, but no sign of gas till ~8:00 pm. Still no appetite but ate 2 flavored yogurts and 2 small bowls of soup. At some point, catheter is taken out – a little burning, but not painful. Catheter (line itself) is held static by a catheter stabilization device that is apparently super glued to my thigh. Shaving my inner thigh would have made removal of stabilization clip a lot less painful.

Day 2 – I manage a watery stool, which makes the grade and I am out of the hospital about 2 pm. Pain around belly button is minimal but definitely feel it when coughing, sneezing and laughing. Holding a pillow against the stitches helps a great deal. Only walked about a 1000 steps that day, set a goal to increase by a 1000 steps every day and work my way back to 10,000 steps/day. Only a single pain pill at night before bed.

Day 3 – Feeling a lot better and walked about 2500 steps. Only a single pain pill at night before bed.

Day 4 – Walked about 5000 steps. Stopped pain pills. Coughing is still painful, found a little pillow I can carry around that really helps when I hold it against the stitches.

Day 5 – walked around grocery store and outdoors - 7500 steps, Yay!

Day 6 – beginning to get on my wife’s nerves, maybe I should be back at work :) . Still waiting on pathology results. Will update as I make progress.

Input/output – I was very concerned about the loss of 30% of colon causing food sensitivities and diarrhea on the output side. Have been adding back in a couple of new items to my meals every day and have not seen any major sensitivity. Coffee at breakfast may be a stronger trigger than before, but need additional data points. Absolute number of bowel movements have increased from ~1-2 /day to 2-3 /day (?). Less well formed, but definitely not watery diarrhea.

Bowel Prep experience (did not know I had a choice till I complained about being miserable with the first 2 on the list). Listed in order of use for procedures above
1st Suprep – metallic taste made me nauseous
2nd GoLytely – volume + taste = nausea + vomiting
3rd Moviprep – sucralose makes it more palatable and volume = 50% of GoLytely
4th Miralax+Gatorade – like this best

Deb m
Posts: 483
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:08 am

Re: My experience with right colectomy (first 7 days)

Postby Deb m » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:08 am

My husband had his acceding colon removed as well. He was about your age. He has some issues with loose stools of and on, but Imodium keeps everything in check pretty well. His ended up being stage IIt4a. He did 12 hits of folfox. He is now almost 8 years out from surgery and continues to be NED since surgery. I do hope that your biopsy comes back with encouraging results and you have the same overall outcome that we have experienced so far. It's great that you were able to walk a lot, it is the best thing for this type of surgery!

God bless,


Posts: 349
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:01 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: My experience with right colectomy (first 7 days)

Postby Beckster » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:01 pm

Had a right hemicolectomy in November 2016. Loose bowels off and on for about 6 months. Now I can eat everything and have no problems. I feel as if I never had surgery.
DX:(CC) 10/19/16
11/4/16- Lap right hemi(cecum)
CEA- Pre Op (1.9), Pre Chemo (2.5)
Type: Adenocarcinoma
Tumor size: 3.5 cm x 2.5 x 0.7 cm
Grade: G3 (surgical) G2 (pre-op)
LN: 0/24
LVI present
Surgical margins: clear
12/27/2016 - Capeox, anaphylactic reaction to oxaliplatin on first infusion-discontinued
1/2/17 to 6/9/17- Xeloda monotherapy
6/17, 12/17, 6/18, 12/18 CT Scan NED :D
CEA- 6/17- 3.6, 9/17- 2.8 12/17-2.8, 3/18-3.1, 6/18-3.0, 9/18 2.8, 12/18 2.5
Clear Colonoscopy 10/17 :D

Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:20 pm
Location: New York/Philadelphia

Re: My experience with right colectomy (first 7 days)

Postby jmn » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:13 pm

I had my lap assisted right hemicolectomy this summer (July 2018). After a few weeks of loose stools, my bowel function improved steadily and has pretty much returned to normal—though I’ve been dealing with occasional constipation and excessive flatulence, which had never been problems for me before my surgery.
DX: CC, 7-9-18 @ age 61, male
Severe anemia (4.5 g/dl), 5-11-18; colonoscopy, 6-29-18
Laparoscopic-assisted right hemicolectomy, 7-16-18
G2, moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma in cecum, 4.2 x 3.7 x 0.7 cm
Stage IIB, T4aN0M0
0/24 lymph nodes, LVI present, PNI present, surgical margins clear, MSS
CEA: 3.0 (pre-op, 7-10-18); 0.7 (post-op, 8-8-18)
TX: Xeloda (Capecitabine) monotherapy

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